How to Learn English? Explore Tips and Techniques

What did you just say? English? Did you say ‘English’? No way!

If this is your reaction too when you hear the word, ‘English’, do not worry because we have got your back. The English language always seems to be something that scares a lot of people, irrespective of their age. Both young and adult learners have the idea that English cannot be learnt that easily. The only idea that you need to understand is that, like any other language, the English language is also a language with grammar, syntax and semantics. Get your knowledge of English grammar strong, learn how to apply them accurately, and you will never have to think twice before you start communicating in English.

Unlike any other language, the English language has been used as the medium of instruction and communication in most of the educational institutions in India. It is a language that is given too much importance, which ends up being one of the reasons why the English language is considered to be complicated.

One excuse that students and working professionals give when they are not able to convey their thoughts and ideas in English effectively is that they did not study in an English medium school. This should not be a reason because even in schools where the language of the state is the medium of instruction, English is a subject that is a part of their academic curriculum. Some students blame it on their English teachers. Whatever be the case, all you need to know is that English is a language that can be learnt and used effectively if you pay attention to the right kind of information and practise regularly.

Why and How to Learn English?

English is a language that is commonly spoken by people all around the world. An individual who can communicate well in English will surely survive wherever he goes. Learning English has become an easy affair nowadays. There are a lot of applications, podcasts, self-learning videos, e-content and so on to aid you in your learning process. You can do it at your own time and pace.

Before you start your journey of English language learning and development, there is one thing you should do. Cleanse your mind of all the ideas and preconceived notions you have about the language and start your learning process with a fresh and enthusiastic mindset.

Here are a few pointers that will help you with all that you need to know on how to learn English and how to master the art of communication.

Mastering the English Language

The process of learning any new skill requires a lot of practice. Likewise, to be able to become a person who can speak English fluently, you have to learn it right and practise well. Every language is based on four different skills – Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing skills, collectively called the LSRW skills.

Can you recollect how you learnt your mother tongue? Did you learn the grammar rules and vocabulary before you started speaking? No, you did not. As a child, you learn a language gradually. Initially, you just recognise the different sounds, so the listening skill is what plays the initial and fundamental role in learning your mother tongue. Once you start listening to the different sounds used in different contexts, you are made to repeat them time after time until you get it right. Here comes the role of the speaking skill. In most scenarios, people only listen, understand and speak; not many learn to read or write in their mother tongue.

The process of learning every other second language/foreign language is nothing like learning a mother tongue. That does not mean that it is not possible. When you learn a new language, you have to learn the alphabets, syllables, vocabulary, grammar, phonetics, spelling and pronunciation in order to be able to master the language.

Tips and Techniques to Learn English

Knowing how to channelise your learning is what will help you with your English language learning process. Here are a few tips on how you can prioritise and focus in the best way possible.

  • If you are learning the English language for the very first time, begin with the alphabets, vowels, consonants and syllables.
    • The English language has 26 alphabets.
    • There are 5 vowels in the English language – a, e, i, o and u.
    • All the other 21 alphabets come under the category of consonants.
    • A syllable is a combination of a vowel and consonant sound, and they are of four main types – monosyllabic words (1 syllable – e.g., dog), disyllabic words (2 syllables – e.g., table, where ‘ta’ and ‘ble’ are the two syllables), trisyllabic words (3 syllables – e.g., custody, where ‘cus’, ‘to’ and ‘dy’ are the three syllables), and polysyllabic words (4 or more syllables – e.g., hospitality, where ‘hos’, ‘pi’, ‘ta’, ‘li’ and ‘ty’ are the different syllables).
  • Once you know the alphabets, syllables and words, you can slowly start reading simple sentences and paragraphs.
  • The next main component you have to look at is speech sounds and symbols. There are 44 speech symbols in the English language. They are also called phonetic symbols and are used in what’s called phonetic transcription, which helps you pronounce words accurately and perfectly.
    • Among the 44 speech sounds, 24 of them are consonant sounds, and the remaining 20 are vowel sounds.
    • Vowel sounds are further classified into 12 vowels and 8 diphthongs (combined vowel sounds).
  • Once you are familiar with these, you can start learning the various grammatical components. Again, there is an order or rather a pattern in which you can organise your grammar learning.
  • As you work with these grammar topics, try reading short stories, descriptive/informative write-ups, newspaper articles and make attempts to identify the different grammatical components you have learnt so far. Check for the parts of speech, identify their function, find out the sentence pattern used, determine the tense and try changing it to different tenses to see how the meaning will change.
  • Work on reading passages and try answering questions to check how much you understand.

Locating Errors and Error correction – A Pro Tip

One of the things people miss out on when trying to learn the English language is error correction. Making mistakes is common, but not trying to correct those mistakes is what is not right on your part. Error correction is one of the most effective ways to learn any language. You can either take someone’s help or do it yourself. The advancement of technology has made things a lot easier. Many online applications can help you locate errors in a written passage, but they need not necessarily be accurate always, so make sure you do a double check before you start working on it. Once you identify the errors in your written or spoken language, do not forget to note them down and use the correct form of the word/sentence when you speak/write the next time.

Common Errors in English

Second-language speakers of English are found to make some common errors while communicating in English. Here are some of the most common errors to help you make sure you do not make these mistakes.

Incorrect Usage Correct Usage
I can able to do it. I am able to do it. / I can do it.
Danny and me went to play. Danny and I went to play.
Amn’t I? Aren’t I?
She is shorter than I. She is shorter than me.
Nobody told me nothing about it. Nobody told me anything about it.
She told that it is good. She told me that it is good./ She said that it is good.
My brother does not listen me. My brother does not listen to me.
The police is coming. The police are coming.
I did not meet nobody. I did not meet anybody.
I came home at Tuesday. I came home on Tuesday.
My uncle stays at Vermont. My uncle stays in Vermont.
Your not here. You’re not here.
Its my Science book. It’s my Science book.
Nirmal do not have a cricket bat. Nirmal does not have a cricket bat.
That girl have long hair. That girl has long hair.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Learn English

How can I learn English?

You can learn English by trying to correct your errors and practising regularly. All you have to do is get your knowledge of English grammar strong, learn how to apply them accurately, and you will never have to think twice before you start communicating in English.

What are the best ways to learn English?

The best way to learn English is by prioritising your learning process. A new learner can start with alphabets, syllables, words, sentences and then continue with grammar. You should also try to practise the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills simultaneously.

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